I had kind of given up on the final three Upfest 75 walls in 75 days pieces, especially as the 75 days was up some time ago, but hope and excitement were restored when Sled One painted this beautiful piece for the event a couple of weeks ago.
Above the General Store in North Street, the intricate mural features a snakes and ladders theme, with a medieval twist hinted at by the hand-held daggers and ornate sleeves. I did not notice the Advance Pest Control van in the photograph until posting this piece, but I think it adds a little something to the scene.
As we would expect from Sled One, the mural is executed with class and precision and is a fine contribution to Upfest’s summer event. So now there are only two pieces left for me to find. One, I know where it is, the other is a mystery.
Well, would you believe it? Yet another superb and crazy piece from Sled One. I have to say, I just don’t know where he gets his energetic creativity from, but it doesn’t really matter, just so long as he keeps turning out magnificent story pieces like this one.
Slapped up somewhere along the very long Greenbank hoarding is this monkey/orangutan/banana mash up that oozes class. There are several things that give this away as a Sled One piece, such as; the zigzag hatched eyebrows; elements of the piece that just hang, like the cigarette and the shading under the eyes; and the amazing use of colour and textures throughout the piece. This is outstanding work from an enormously talented artist.
Ooh! a mouthwatering, commentary collaboration piece by 3Dom and Sled One taking up a large stretch of the Skate Spot wall at the top end of Stapleton Road. This spot is often taken up by ‘top end’ art work and is favoured by the ASK crew, and when you see something like this it is easy to see why.
The first time I passed by, Sled One was still painting his half of the collaborative wall while 3Dom had departed and was due to return later or the following day to tidy up. We stopped and chatted for a while before he continued with the piece. His work is extraordinary and his talent is there for all to see.
The two halves of the collaboration represent a stark contrast between the choices we have as citizens of planet earth. We can work with the planet which is reflected in Sled One’s contribution or we can destroy it through the pursuit of material wealth and greed. It is interesting how the choice of colours can set a tone or a mood and Sled One’s ‘mother earth’ character is full of positivity and hope. The only out is in.
3Dom got the short straw and his half of the piece is a portrayal of capitalism and greed where the earth is to be divided up like a cake for profit. The cigar-puffing pig is brilliantly painted and instantly creates a sense of disgust and loathing. Dark satanic mills be here.
What an outstanding collaboration of contrasts from two of Bristol’s top street artists.
One of the things that I really like about Sled One’s work is that everything seems so effortless, and as a result, his pieces are immersive and compelling in a way that other pieces might be static and boring. As usual, even his writing seems to have a story to tell.
This ASK – After Skool Klub – piece is rather cute and engaging. The letters reveal an eye, a mouth, a daisy-chain garland and a hand with a peace gesture and the whole thing is a little bit ‘peace and love, man’ but so incredibly easy on the eye. This artist is the best at turning the inanimate into imaginable living things. Gotta love this one.
Sled One is a great champion for the ASK crew, and will often paint these animated letters in his inimitable style that creates so much movement and character. This is one of two such recent pieces.
The skate park at St George doesn’t have the best graffiti walls, most of the site is rolling mounds and shallow bowls, but this ramp and one at the other end offer graffiti artists some decent opportunities. This vibrant ASK would most likely have been freestyled and I imagine fairly quickly, such is the skill and talent of Sled One. More like this coming soon.
This piece was part of an ASK paint jam that I believe had been organised to celebrate Sled One’s birthday. What a great way to spend the day, painting with your friends and being creatively active. This is a classic surreal character piece from Sled One and illustrates perfectly his extraordinary ability to tell stories with his art.
A seaside scene in which a crab is eating a mint choc-chip ice cream, or at least was, but the ice cream has toppled off and has been replaced by seagull poop, which is all rather disgusting. The gull, not content with providing his own Mr Whippy, is also breaking wind. Charming. The characters are beautifully painted, and the crab shadow lifts the whole piece from the wall. Fabulous, seaside humour.
Thank you, Paul H for correcting my assumption that this piece was by Sled One. It is in fact by 3Dom, and was painted to celebrate Sled One’s birthday paint jam. In terms of the rest of the post, everything I wrote about Sled One is applicable to 3Dom. I will leave the post as originally written, because it is important to recognise how difficult it can be sometimes to get things wrong…
This wonderful piece of writing from Sled One is actually one half of a collaboration with himself, which in retrospect I ought to have posted as one, but without thinking I have split into two. Both elements of his work were part of an ASK painting session a couple of weeks back.
Given that Sled One usually freestyles his work, which means he doesn’t paint from a design on a piece of paper in front of him, but with the freedom of his own mind, there is an extraordinary ease, confidence and flow that demonstrates his gift. Sled One is a truly gifted artist whose distinctive surreal creativity puts him in the highest echelons of character artists in Bristol (and beyond), and he is a great writer too. This is a fairly straightforward piece of writing, but often his writing is enhanced with character-like elements. Turning the inanimate into the animate is a speciality.
There are times when you have to just sit down and absorb a piece, to enjoy it to the maximum, and marvel at its splendour. This amazing piece by Sled One is one of those, and I don’t think that anything I write will actually add anything to the majesty of this work.
The regal character, part of a wider collaboration set on a pink background, is as unsettling as it is crazy. A lizard-like queen with a full set of pearls (is it Queen Victoria?) is holding a sceptre which looks like it has a fly on the end.
The surreal piece might be political commentary, or it might not, with Sled One it is customary to not really know what is going on. Accepting that there is a great story there somewhere is probably enough and we all have to let our imaginations run wild. I love this a lot.
There is little more I can say about this piece other than it is utterly outstanding. Of course, I can’t leave it like that, so I’ll give you a bit more background. I am guessing it is a commission, because it is on a business wall, but what a commission. The artists are Smak, Sled One and Kosc, and they have smashed this wall out of sight. The only downside is that it is an absolute beast to photograph on account of being in a narrow lane and on a curved wall.
From left to right the artists are Kosc, Smak (SM), Sled One and Smak (AK) and they have used a wonderful combination of black red and grey colours. Decay of old would be in his element. Kosc has painted an amazing photorealistic portrait with a bit of a glitch in it and has spelled out his name. This is simply magnificent. On its own this one third of the piece would be worth the trip.
Smak has spread his letters either side of the Sled One piece with the SM sandwiched between Kosc and Sled, with the AK rounding off the piece on the right-hand side. As you would expect from Smak, the letters are flawless and the design simply brilliant.
Taking up centre stage in this three-way collaboration is a celebration of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Sled One is the king of crazy creativity, and here the wolf is chewing on a spray can, which is squirting paint on one of two ladybirds in the piece. Look closely at the picnic basket, and you might just see a hint that the wolf hasn’t gobbled our heroine up but has instead squished her into the basket.
This is a glorious collaboration from three of Bristol’s best street artists. get yourslf down there.
I wrote about the passing of MF DOOM in a post a few days ago referencing a piece by Mr Klue in St Werburghs Tunnel, and this is another tribute piece to the rapper, this time from Smak and Sled One.
It is clear that MF DOOM was very much loved by the graffiti art community, and I have seen dozens of tribute pieces on Instagram over the past few weeks. This collaboration though is really out of the top drawer. On the left is an outstanding portrait of the masked artist from Smak, and an example of his sophisticated skills can be seen in the colours and how they are used on the mask – an extraordinary metallic effect reminiscent of Fanakapan.
On the right-hand side of the collaboration is Sled One’s contribution, and here his wacky and creative imagination goes into overdrive, with an MF DOOM/Thomas the Tank Engine fusion piece… crazy. Only Sled One could come up with a concept like this and execute it with such aplomb. Brilliant!
All in all this is a truly outstanding collaborative tribute and the best I have seen so far.